Page:A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages-Volume I .pdf/538

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and tlie roval officials quarrelling over his confiscated castle of Monteirat.[1]

The ferocious rapacity with which this process of confiscation was carried on may be conceived from a report made by Jean d' Arsis, Seneschal of Eouergue, to Alphonse of Poitiers, about 1253, as an evidence of the zeal Avith which he was guarding the interests of his suzerain. The Bishop of Kodez was conducting a vigorous episcopal inquisition, and at JS'ajac had handed over a certain Rugues Paraire as a heretic, whom the seneschal burned "incontinently " and collected over one thousand livres Tournois from his estate. Hearing, subsequently, that the bishop had cited before him at Rodez six other citizens of Najac, d' Arsis hastened thither to see that no fraud was practised on the count. The bishop told him that these men were all heretics, and that he would make the count gain one hundred thousand sols from their confiscations, but both he and his assessors begged the seneschal to forego a portion to the culprits or their children, which that loyal servitor bluntly refused. Then the bishop, following evil counsel, and in fraud of the rights of the count, endeavored to elude the forfeiture by condemning the heretics to some lighter penance. The seneschal, however, knew his master's rights and seized the property, after which he allowed some pittance to the penitents and their children, reporting that in addition to this he was in possession of about one thousand livres; and he winds up by advising the count, if he wishes not to be defrauded, to appoint some one to watch and supervise the further inquisitions of the bishop. On the other hand the bishops complained that the officials of Alphonse permitted heretics, for a pecuniary consideration, to retain a part or the whole of their confiscated property, or else condemned to the flames those who did not deserve it in order to seize their estates. These frightful abuses grew so unbearable that, in 1254, the officials of Alphonse, including Gui Foucoix, endeavored to reform them by issuing general regulations on the subject, but the matter was one

  1. Archives de l'Écêché d'Albi (Doat, XXXV. 83).— Les Olim, I. 55B.— Archivio di Napoli, Regist. 4, Lett. B, fol. 47. — Archives de r:Evgch6 de B6ziers (Doat, XXXI. 35). — Concil. Biterrens. ann. 1246 c. 3. — Isambert, Anc. Loix Fran9aises, L 257.— C. 19 Sexto v. 2.— MSS. Bib. Nat., fonds latin, No. 11847.— Collect. Doat, XXXV. 68.— Molinier, L'Inq. dans de midi de la France, p. 102. — Vaissette, Éd. Privat, X. Pr. 370 sqq.